For Michael Kim, it’ll be a ‘first time’ for him this weekend.
Last season, Kim would win the John Deere Classic, and in the next installment of this year’s PGA Tour, Kim will be defending his first title as we arrive into the 2019 John Deere Classic. The tournament is being held at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois. According to the betting community, both Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa are the co-favorites to take the event. Unfortunately for Kim, he’s way down in the odds — and I mean way down.
According to Bovada, Hovland’s and Morikawa’s co-favorite stamp is at +1600. After that, we have a tie for the third position with Matthew Wolff and Lucas Glover sitting at +2000. In the No. 5 position, it’s the same story, but instead, it’s a six-way tie to also round out the top 10 for us: Charles Howell III, Joaquin Niemann, Brian Harman, Ryan Moore, Kevin Steelman, and Sungjae Im all come in at +2500. Michael Kim is all the way down the list at +40000.
If that doesn’t tell you that we’ll have a completely open field this weekend, maybe this will: Out of the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings, only four of them will be in action at the John Deere Classic. I do agree with the critics that this will be a very weak field, especially for the PGA Tour, but with how open it will be, it’ll make it extraordinarily entertaining as well. One golfer who will help with the entertainment is Viktor Hovland, who would break the record for amateur scoring at the U.S. Open — that record belonged to the legendary Jack Nicklaus. The co-favorite will be making his fourth straight appearance in a PGA Tour event after that record-breaking feat. And also consider this for Hovland: Out of the past eight John Deere Classic tournaments, four of them have been new-comers to the event, which Hovland is. It makes his already favorable odds even more favorable.
TWO IN A ROW?
Expect plenty of attention to be on Matthew Wolff this week, especially after his magical run in the 3M Open at Minnesota last weekend. Fresh out of Oklahoma State University, it’ll be interesting to see how he performs as his career continues and if he can be a consistent winner. After a third round that saw Wolff put up a 62 on Saturday, he would then score another solid tally of 65 on Sunday to deliver him the 3M Open championship and his first career victory.
Like I mentioned earlier, this tournament is known to be a place where new golfers can claim the first title. Out of the past eight John Deere Classics, four of the winners have been first-time winners — this includes Kim last year and Bryson DeChambeau on the 2017 tour. Over the past 19 years of the John Deere Classic, nine have been first-time victors. So not only should you keep that in mind for the co-favorite Viktor Hovland, but you should also apply that to Matthew Wolff as well, especially after he’s tied for third in the odds to win.
No, I’m not talking about Twitter. I’m talking about how TPC Deere Run is an epicenter for birdies. Placing at 7,268 yards and being a par 71, the course is known for having a ton of birdie opportunities for golfers. For example: In 2010, Paul Goydos would tally a score of 59. That would be just the fourth time in the history of the PGA Tour that’s happened.
The PGA Tour’s 2019 John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run (Silvis, Illinois) takes places from July 11-14 and will be carried on national television through CBS and the Golf Channel. Tee times will be available shortly before the tournament, and the purse for the event is a total of $6,000,000.
Let’s go over the favorites and full odds for the 2019 John Deere Classic.
Like co-favorite Viktor Hovland, Colin Morikawa is another one who could secure his first career PGA Tour victory in the 2019 John Deere Classic. He’s only been in four tournaments in his professional career, and he’s done solid in two of them. Starting in the RBC Canadian Open, he claimed a top 15 finish after placing himself in 14th on the leaderboard. He would do average with a 35th place finish in the U.S. Open and then 36th in the Travelers Championship, but he would recover well Fourth of July weekend with a near victory in the 3M Open — he would finish with a second-place tally. Along with Hovland, Morikawa is in the driver’s seat to win their first title, but you know the old saying: “There can only be one.” It should be a fun battle between those two this weekend.
Viktor Hovland has put up some good performances as of late, building up momentum since breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record of amateur scoring at the U.S. Open — there he would secure a top 15 finish, falling just two spots from the top 10 in 12th. He didn’t do so well afterwards at the Travelers Championship with a 54th place finish, but after that — his two most recent events — he’s secured two consecutive top 15 finishes. He would take the No. 13 tally at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and then would repeat that feat with a 13th place finish at the 3M Open. With both the momentum that Hovland and Morikawa are carrying into this weekend with a stretch of decent performances for themselves, it’s no wonder why they’re co-favorites. Something eventually has to give, both of these young golfers will eventually be winners. It’s just a matter of when at this point, and who could take the 2019 John Deere Classic.
Unlike Colin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland, Lucas Glover does have previous wins on his PGA Tour resume — three to be exact. It should also be pointed out that one of those victories was a major, it being the 2009 U.S. Open. So if Morikawa and Hovland want to land their first career victory, they’ll have to go through Glover to do so. Last weekend, Glover would do magnificent at the 3M Open as well, so he may be riding with a little momentum. But take Glover with caution, because before then, there’s not much to brag about if you’re Lucas Glover: He would miss the cut at both the Travelers Championship and U.S. Open, and before that, he would finish below the top 50 in 52nd at the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide. He wouldn’t do bad in the PGA Championship, landing himself in 16th, but still, it’s just an average tally. With that being said, however, Glover will be a legitimate threat to win the tournament this weekend with limited competition to worry about, especially with potential 3M Open momentum.
With all of this talk about fresh golfers looking for their first career victory, Matthew Wolff would actually accomplish that feat last week at the 3M Open Championship. That alone, you have to put him among the favorites, especially considering the competition of the field is pretty weak. The reason why I say that alone, is because that’s literally the only thing Wolff has going for him in his first four tournaments in the PGA Tour — the victory at the 3M Open. Before that, he would miss the cut altogether at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, finish a lousy 74th place at the Travelers Championship, and a dismal 50th at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. But after that victory at the 3M Open to get over the hump and get that first win out of the way, you have to think Wolff may go on a stretch of solid performances with the pressure off. We’ll see in a weak field at the John Deere Classic.
With a couple of top 10 performances in his last five tournaments, you have to think Brian Harman will make some noise in the weak field at the John Deere Classic as well — especially with two career wins already on his resume. Harman’s dismal performances would be missing the cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, finishing 50th at the RBC Canadian Open, and placing 27th in the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide. But his last three in particular, in two of those, he would finish in the top 10 — that would be a seventh-place finish in the 3M Open and tallying eighth in the Travelers Championship. With that kind of numbers and momentum, you have to think that Brian Harman will be toxic to this field, and could secure his third career victory.
Charles Howell III may be among the favorites to win the 2019 John Deere Classic, but even with the competition being inferior, I would personally stay away from him if I were you. He’s done absolutely nothing in his last five performances. In the PGA Championship, he would take the No. 41 position on the leaderboard, and after that, he would miss the cut altogether at the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide. Then at the U.S. Open, he would finish below the top 50 finishing 52nd, and following that, it would be a 35th place tally at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Last weekend at the 3M Open for July 4th weekend, he would place below the top 20 at No. 23. You already know the drill, ladies, and gentlemen: Stay away from Charles Howell III.
In his last five appearances, Joaquin Niemann has been able to land two top-five finishes in that stretch. With that being said, Niemann would be a solid pick to make to win the 2019 John Deere Classic. In the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide, Niemann would put up a 27th place finish, and following that, he would decline to a 31st place tally in the RBC Canadian Open. But check out these next two performances: Two straight top-five finishes in fifth place each at the Travelers Championship and the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He wouldn’t have the best finish at the 3M Open, but you have thought that momentum of two straight No. 5 tallies will carry into the lackluster competition at the 2019 John Deere Classic. Solid pick, for sure.
Kevin Streelman doesn’t have the best resume in his last five performances, so I’d stay away from him as far as being a winner is concerned. As far as a long shot pick, nope, I’d stay away from that too. Those +2500 odds are just too high for my liking, but I get why he has that figure, he did have a fourth-place finish at the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide. Other than that, however, there hasn’t been anything special for Streelman. He would take a 31st place finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge, tally 15th on the leaderboard at the Travelers Championship, 35th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and 34th at the 3M Open. The top five finish in the Memorial Tournament (fourth) is flashy, but the rest of his dismal performances doesn’t make me feel safe at all for a winning pick, even in this year’s John Deere Classic.
STAY AWAY FROM RYAN MOORE. I REPEAT. STAY AWAY FROM RYAN MOORE. He’s been absolutely dismal in his last five performances, even missing the cut for three of those tournaments — they would be last weekend’s 3M Open, the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and the PGA Championship. In his other performances, he would put up an average 15th place finish in the Travelers Championship, and then tally 33rd in the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide. I don’t trust Ryan Moore at all with my money.
Rounding out the top 10 favorites to win the 2019 John Deere Classic is South Korea’s Sung-Jae Im, who has had some decent finishes over his last five seasons. He might have had a 57th place finish in the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide, but after that, the results aren’t that bad for Im. He would take a top 10 finish (seventh) at the RBC Canadian Open, which would be his best placement in this stretch. Afterwards, it would be two straight 21st place finishes — one at the Travelers Championship and the other at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Last weekend at the 3M Open, he’d place himself in the top 15 after a 15th place finish. Decent stretch, and with the already-mentioned several times weak field at play, you have to look at Sung-Jae Im as a decent pick in this tournament.
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